For the past 5 weeks I've been here I've cried at least 3 times because I realised a few things:
1. The papers I'm doing this semester are very, very challenging. I thought I wasn't smart enough or working hard enough.
2. Being the Ameera for the Muslim Students Association is a huge responsibility and I was afraid I'd let everyone down and most of all, I was afraid I'd let myself down and let it affect my studies.
3. Being a final year varsity student without my Mum is harder than I thought it would be. She is my home away from home. My comfort zone when the world feels so foreign and scary. She was supposed to come back to Dunedin 2 weeks ago but we just found out we have to send our maid back to Indonesia so she had to stay back and look for a new one. These days it is extremely hard to find a maid because the government is limiting the amount of Indonesian maids into Malaysia. Apart from that there are other family issues holding her back home.
I cried when I was under pressure and felt like people didn't understand. I cried when my Mum told me she can only come back in later in May. I cried when I reminisced about my late Dad and realised how I will never ever be able to see him again and make up for all the times I was a selfish and unreasonable. I recite Surah Al-Fatihah for him after every prayer I perform and sometimes I can feel him telling me he will always love me as I will always be his daughter because in Islam our connection isn't only biological but also a spiritual one.
Don't get me wrong, I am happy and grateful about every single thing in my life right up to every last detail. Yes even the tears and sadness because they've taught me what it means and feels like to be truly happy. I know some people look at me and judge me from what they see on the outside. They think I'm a spoiled brat who's only concerned about getting what she wants when she wants it. The truth is I just believe in going after what I want in life and that nothing and no one is worth being angry and bitter over because they're all part of God's bigger plan for me. There have been times when I felt like giving up but each time that happens my inner voice inside my heart tells me, "If you give up now you're not giving up on the endeavour... you're giving up on yourself."
This time around I heard that same voice. I decided to gather all my strength and soldier on. I reached out for help. I spoke to my classmate, a 3rd year Law student, and he told me he finds the paper is hard too. We exchanged tips and ideas and suddenly it didn't feel as daunting as before. I spoke to my Mum recently and she told me some good news. We can keep our maid so she can come back at the end of this month inshaAllah. I confided in my friends about being stressed and they gave me support and told me I can always step down from the position of Ameera if it was all getting too much. In the end I decided to take on the role because there must be a reason why God has placed me in this situation, right? Then yesterday whilst organising our upcoming Annual Sisters Gathering I received a few emails from my committee members:
MashaAllah Shahirah. You are organized and make a great boss! Keep up with the good work :)
Thanks for being our Amirah ^.~ coz as Nourah R said you make a great leader for sure !!Alhamdulillah! I was overjoyed! You have no idea how touched I felt and how relieved I was at the same time. I realised that all I had to do was not give up. I decided to have faith in myself and the people around me. I decided to think positive and visualise everything falling into place. I worked towards my goal instead of walking away from my responsibilities. Two years ago it felt as if graduating was next to impossible. I went through so much while I was studying - I lost the most important man in my life and my last remaining grandparent - and now here I am in my final year. Stronger than ever before and amazingly enough, more grounded and humbled than ever as well. When I look back at my life I think about how if I had given up years ago and stopped having faith in God, I can say with full certainty that I wouldn't have experienced all these life-changing lessons and adventures. I wouldn't have achieved anything memorable or met anyone inspiring. I look at my grades, pictures from my past and from last summer and pictures of my adorable 4-month old niece, Nisreen.... and life makes sense. Yes, every bit of it including all the adversities and disappointments.
Last night I cried again but it wasn't because I felt sad. They were tears of happiness and gratitude.
"You've got to fight for every dream because who's to know which one you let go would've made you complete."
Dear Nisreen, I can't get over how perfect you are to me mashaAllah. Baby, you have no idea what a blessing you are to our lives. We will always love you!